1 : the Greek language commonly spoken and written in eastern Mediterranean countries in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
2 : a dialect or language of a region that has become the common or standard language of a larger area
Did You Know?
Koine, which means "common" or "shared" in Greek, was the language spoken in the eastern Mediterranean countries from the 4th century B.C.E. until the time of the Byzantine emperor Justinian (mid-6th century C.E.). In linguistics, the word koine is applied to a language developed from contact between dialects of the same language over a large region. Basically, a koine adopts those grammatical and lexical elements from the dialects of the region that are easily recognized by most area speakers and dispenses with those that are not.
"Examples of koines … include the Hindi/Bhojpuri varieties spoken in Fiji and South Africa, and the speech of 'new towns' such as Høyanger in Norway and Milton Keynes in England." — Paul Kerswill, in The Handbook of Language Variation and Change, 2013
"Hedrick has taken 30 hours of ancient languages—rendering him proficient in koine Greek, Aramaic and ancient Hebrew—and he tutored students in those subjects while in Greece." — Angela Spencer, ArkansasOnline.com, 28 Feb. 2016
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